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Tilray Acquisition Fails To Excite Cannabis Sector Investors

Published 12/14/2021, 06:58 AM
Updated 09/02/2020, 02:05 AM

Shares of cannabis grower Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) (TSX:TLRY) closed down again on Monday. The stock of the New York City-based company has been unable to reverse its downward trajectory since the middle of last week.

TLRY 300 Minute Chart

On Dec. 8 the stock made a small upward move, hitting US$9.83, when the marijuana company, which also has operations in Canada, announced it is buying a Colorado-based bourbon whiskey and craft spirits maker.

But that price lift was not sustained, as the stock closed down for the week—below where it was before the acquisition was announced. Yesterday the stock dropped further, closing at $8.29.

Last Wednesday, Tilray announced what it called the "strategic acquisition" of Breckenridge Distillery for $102.9 million in stock. The rapid retrace of any immediate gains in TLRY's stock price reflects possible investor disappointment that Tilray opted to invest in a non-cannabis company with which to position itself for future growth instead of opting for a more immediate positive return, as the company continues to struggle to hit profitable status.

Founded in 2008, Breckenridge is known for its award-winning bourbon whisky. Its annual sales are estimated at about US$20 million.

Said Tilray CEO Irwin Simon:

“Tilray’s strength lies in our ability to identify and significantly expand leading (consumer packaged goods) lifestyle brands that resonate powerfully with consumers. Breckenridge Distillery is an iconic addition to our platform in this respect based on its portfolio of award-winning spirits, passionate consumer engagement, and a strong sales and distribution network.”

He added:

“More generally, the Breckenridge Distillery transaction is consistent with Tilray’s strategy of leveraging our growing portfolio of US CPG brands to launch THC-based product adjacencies upon federal legalization in the US These significant, diversified revenue streams are key to delivering on our ultimate goal of industry leadership with $4 billion in revenue by the end of fiscal year 2024.”

The distiller enhances Tilray’s portfolio in the beverage space. The cannabis company already owns the SweetWater Brewing Company. This new purchase will also help Tilray roll out non-alcoholic spirits infused with cannabis, including a whisky-style beverage, according to a statement issued by the company.

The strategy is geared to leveraging Tilray’s position in the US market when federal legislation legalizing cannabis is eventually passed across the US

Looking to 2022

Last week, an analyst at Desjardins Capital Markets published a report on the 2022 outlook for the US and Canadian cannabis industry. Written by John Chu, the report forecasts a 10% jump in marijuana sales. It also pointed to small producers on both sides of the border, describing them as “best bets” for the coming year.

Chu said the larger Canadian cannabis companies will continue to chase profitability without reaching this goal. On a positive note, the report found marijuana sales will continue to increase with demand.

According to the report, the drivers of ongoing strong industry sales include “the continued improvement in the quality and/or potency of cannabis, more competitive prices and increased adoption of cannabis 2.0 products.”

Final note: an interesting statistic

Cannabis sales in Canada are about to surpass the sales of domestic wines and spirits, according to Statistics Canada. It should be pointed out, however, when including imported wines and spirits, the booze sales still surpass cannabis retail figures.

Latest comments

Bourbon comes from Kentucky. Period.
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